The last weekend’s attack of Israel on the proposed Polish antidefamation law is unjustified. Benjamin Netanjahu and the Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid trampled the elementary human dignity of Poles underfoot. The Polish bill refers to the Polish Nation and to the Polish State, and not to individuals who collaborated with Nazi Germany. It means, the critics of individuals is allowed, attributing the Holocaust complicity to the whole nation or state is not. Poland as a nation had never collaborated with Germany. The Polish law also clearly says: “There is no offence, if the person has committed this act (of defamation) as part of his artistic or scientific activity”. The accusations of Israeli leaders that the proposed bill will allow a historical revisionism are fundamentally false. The statement of Israeli Prime Minister’s Office calling the bill a Holocaust denial is a slander.
Polish president Andrzej Duda expressed his support for the new legislation and condemned hatred. He said, among other things: “I can never come to terms with slandering us, Poles, as a Nation, or Poland as a country, by distortion of historical truth and by false accusations.” He added further: “On the contrary: there was a concerted organized action to fight the Holocaust. That is why the Polish Government in London, acting though its Delegation for Poland, set up the Council to Aid Jews, code-named “Żegota”; that is why Jan Karski took action on behalf of that Government; that is also why Rittmeister Pilecki accomplished his daring mission in Auschwitz. Witold Pilecki, later an Indomitable Soldier, murdered by the communists. This obviously was an organised systematic effort undertaken by the institutions of the Polish state, wherever they existed, be it clandestine or in exile. But it was a systematic and concerted effort to fight the Holocaust, to aid Jews.”
It is wrong to condemn the right of Poles to protect the good name of the Polish nation and to combat the historically false and offensive terms like “Polish camps”. The camps were designed, created, operated, staffed, and run by Nazi Germany and their collaborators. This is a Nazi German crime and referring to them as anything else is an affront to the victims of that murderous regime. Shifting the blame of the Holocaust from the Nazi German perpetrators to their Polish victims is effectively whitewashing German crimes and is a form of Holocaust denial.
Please watch this video to understand, why the Polish antidefamation bill is necessary.
@ Video by Stefan Tompson, Polish-South African, raised in London, political activist
@ Image of the gate of the Auschwitz concentration camp courtesy of Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial